USU Opera Theatre

About USU Opera Theatre

USU Opera Theatre offers students the opportunity to participate in productions of the great works of classical opera and modern musical theatre every year under the direction of Prof. Dallas Aksoy. Our productions have a focus on teaching students the art of musical stagecraft – telling a story on stage through sight and song.

Utah State’s Opera Theatre has proven to be an excellent starting place for young singers, many of whom have gone on to further study at some of the nation's finest graduate schools and conservatories and then on to accomplished careers with prominent companies around the world. Direction by professionally-experienced faculty that have a passion for teaching provides a unique experience few university music programs can match. Professional guest stage directors are also brought in from across the country to give students an authentic, pre-professional experience and further prepare them for a career as a professional singer or voice teacher.

Repertoire is carefully selected each year, tailored to our students’ needs, and has consisted of Baroque/Classical/Romantic/20th-century opera, contemporary musical theatre, and creative programs of opera/musical theatre scenes. Opera scholarships are also available, providing additional performing opportunities and training as part of the Marie Eccles Caine-Russell Family Opera Outreach Quartet.

All interested students are welcome to audition. Please contact Prof. Dallas Aksoy for more information on how to be involved!

Productions

USU Opera Theatre is pleased to announce the following productions for the 2022-2023 year. You can find tickets for these and other Music Department productions at our online Ticket Office.

Something to Lose: A New Musical

Come be the first to see a new one-act musical by USU student Aaron Nash. Set in a small city in suburban America, a young man attempts to deal with the mental anguish that accompanies his sister's unexpected death. Through mistakes and self-discovery, he attempts to regain the life he once had. October 7-8, 2022 at 7:30 in the Caine Lyric Theatre.

Purchase Tickets for Something to Lose

Theodora

One of Handel’s masterpiece oratorios, Theodora follows a love story between the Christian Theodora and the newly-converted Roman Didymus in the 4th century Roman border town of Antioch, a center of early Christian/Roman tensions. January 20-21, 2023 at 7:30 in the Russell/Wanlass Performance Hall.

Sweeney Todd

By Sondheim, Sweeney Todd tells the tale of an unjustly exiled barber who seeks vengeance against the lecherous judge who framed him and ravaged his young wife, set in 19th century London. April 13-15, 2023 at 7:30 in the Caine Lyric Theatre.

L’incoronazione di Poppea

By Claudio Monteverdi, this production was filmed during our 2020-2021 season and currently wrapping up post-production, watch for our show on CCA Presents!

Highlights from Past Productions

Ghost Quartet - Spring 2022

Director: Dallas Aksoy
Scenic/Costume Designer: Dennis Hassan
Lighting Design: Hannah Whorton
Photographer: Anthony Messler
Cast/Orchestra pictured: Taylor Stucki, Patrice Densley, Gideon Benge, Hayden Höglund, Jeremy Adriano, Megan Richards, Becca Palmer

Uncovered - Spring 2022

Orpheus in the Underworld - Spring 2021

Director/Scenic Designer: Dallas Aksoy
Costume Designer: Jordan Draper
Choreographer: Stephanie White
Photographer: Anthony Messler
Cast pictured: Kristen Fairbourn, Brianna Skeen, Kaylee Borchert, Zack Grob, Tanner Pruett, Layton Loucks, Demetria Torowus, Maribelle Taylor, Joshua Rogers, Hayden Höglund, Collin Crook

L'incoronazione di Poppea - Fall 2020

Director: Stefan Espinosa
Scenic Designers: Dennis Hassan, Hannah Whorton
Costumes Designer: Alex Heder
Videographers: Michael Palmer, Anthony Messler
Photographer: Dallas Aksoy
Cast pictured: Patrice Densley, Josh Roy, Hayden Höglund, Kaylyn Baldwin, Tanner Pruett, Danielle Casós, Rachel Grob, Elisabeth Kinghorn, Zack Grob, Abbigayle Dennis, Lauren Tougas, Joshua Rogers

Dido & Aeneas - Spring 2018

Director/Choreographer: Nate Dryden
Scenic/Costume Designer: Dennis Hassan, Sara Shouse
Lighting Designer: Bruce Duerden
Photographer: Andrew McAllister
Cast pictured: Benjamin Krutsch, Becca Keel, Carly Schaub, Peter Larsen, Megan Warburton, Karley Garrett, Andrew Taylor, Nathan Scott, Sariah Seare, Danielle Casós, Amanda Strasbourg, Rachel Grob, Lauren McCurdy, Abbigayle Dennis, Allison Klippel

La finta giardiniera - Spring 2017

Director: Daniel Helfgot
Scenic/Costume Designer: Dennis Hassan
Wig/Makeup Designer: Sara Shouse
Lighting Designer: Keith Carson
Photographer: Andrew McAllister
Cast pictured: Benjamin Krutsch, Rebecca Soelberg, Andrew Taylor, Nicole Vander Does, Emily Cottam, Amanda Strasbourg, Brad Summers

Opera Outreach Quartet

Thanks to the generosity of the Marie Eccles Caine-Russell Family, Utah State Opera is able to offer four scholarships for outstanding voice performance majors to be part of the USU Opera Outreach Quartet. As their primary responsibility, the Quartet prepares and presents an educational and entertaining thirty-minute opera or musical at high schools throughout the Intermountain West. Recipients for this prestigious award are announced each fall.